Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

The Appointment by Jane Kenyon

The phoebe flew back and forth 
between the fencepost and the tree—
not nest-building, just restlessly... 
and I heard the motorboat on the lake,
going around and through its own wake,
towing the campers two by two.

I thought of a dozen things to do 
but rejected them all
in favor of fretting about you.
It might have been the finest day of summer—
the hay was rich and dry, and the breeze
made the heart-shaped leaves of the birch
tell all their secrets,
though they were lost on me...

Bees rummaged through the lilies, methodical 
as thieves in a chest of drawers.  
I saw them from the chair 
nearest the cool foundation stones.
Out of the cellar window came 
a draught of damp and evil-smelling air.

The potted geraniums on the porch 
hung limp in the blaze of noon.  I could
not stir to water them.  If you
had turned into the drive just then, even
with cheerful news, I doubt
I could have heard what you had to say.

~ from Collected Poems (Greywolf Press, 2005)


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